Legally selling home-baked goods gains momentum

Jarred fruit

The same California that made foie gras illegal has now enacted a cook-friendly law. As of January 1, it’s legal to sell some food you make in your own kitchen. Per the San Francisco Chronicle‘s article, Selling home-baked goods now legalized, the California Homemade Food Act “allows producers of certain nonperishable foods, which don’t require refrigeration, to forgo commercial kitchens and prepare the food at home.”

This act reflects a movement that has been gaining momentum for awhile now. Generally called “Cottage Food Acts” twenty states have passed similar acts. Besides California, Colorado, South Carolina, Washington, and Colorado all passed similar laws in 2012. There are some restrictions, which vary. In California, for example, you need a health permit, have to take a food safety class, and there are also restrictions on amount and market.  

We think laws that allow home cooks to start up and operate a small business should be a win-win for everybody. It will be interesting to see how successfully these laws work – and whether they provide an incentive for those states that still ban food sold out of a non-commercial kitchen to get moving. (If you’re curious about which states do have a cottage food act, here’s a list.)


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